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  • Originally posted by Vtec44 View Post
    It could be that a human registered for an account, then pass it to a bot to post.
    Yeah, that's entirely possible. But then, why would a real person always use the same registration data? Wouldn't they try and be more "stealthy" and "elusive"?

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Mike Jordan View Post
      Have you noticed any performance impact with a list t his long? My list is only about 2 dozen IP's long right now, but China and Russia are big places.
      I haven't noticed any performance issues yet, and I'm on shared hosting.

      Originally posted by Mike Jordan View Post
      I've got a fairly nitch forum and most of my users are going to come from the US, Canada mostly, with some from England and Northern Europe. So I'm not all that concerned about banning the rest of the world. I'm going to put up a message for the very rare IP that gets caught and tell them why it's blocked and to send me e-mail (at a throw-away e-mail address) to let me know.

      It's too bad you can't have exceptions to a range. That way you could ban a whole sub-net and put a exception for the few that might be valid in that sub-net.
      My community is also very niche. No more than a dozen real members online at any given fifteen minutes.

      If you take a look at my list, you'll see that I've made some exceptions within larger ranges. It's not as difficult as you might think, once you get comfortable with wildcards.

      Originally posted by Mike Jordan View Post
      Since I went to 3.7.x I've been getting about 6 Chinese, a couple of Russian and one or two odd other countries every night about 10:30 pm Pacific time that I ban the IP groups on. But so far (knock on my lucky 286 chip), nobody has made it through. A lot of Registering but they never actually get registered.
      I'm actually still running on 3.6.5, but I plan on making the jump to 3.7.x soon, now that I've recently renewed my license (days before the price increase). These spammers are not a problem specific to 3.7.x - they are targeting vBulletin in general. I can see my ISP blocks preventing at least 5 spambot registrations per day now. I can also see specific user accounts that have long-ago been banned, trying to come back, in addition to all the new attempted registrations.

      The last spambot to successfully post in my community, was ultimatewarrior8888 a week ago. New user registrations are still open. The last spambot to register (which was of course banned before it could post), was KaiyureGirl on June 7th, and I have since then had 8 legitimate users join, with no more spambots so far. The last spambot before KaiyureGirl, was weiwei on June 2nd.

      But it's not just having a good once-and-for-all blocklist, that keeps the spammers out. I'm still actively updating my ISP list, because these bots are continually tapping into increasingly obscure IP ranges within China - perhaps IP ranges that belong to cybercafes. But the good news is I catch the spambots before they get as far as the Awaiting Email Confirmation phase - because of their User Agent on Viewing Who's Online. If I see someone "Registering" and there isn't an error, then I eyeball their User Agent, and if it's the same as all the spambots, then I WHOIS the IP, and add a new IP range onto my list, minus a few small exceptions for existing members. These bots don't seem to get through captcha instantly (they farm out phase 0 registrations - then submit captcha results at least fifteen minutes later), so I've always had enough time to update my IP list whenever I notice their User Agent.

      Comment


      • Methinks they are spamborgs not spambots

        I believe that KaiyureBoy and his swarm are "spamborgs" not spambots--quasi-human but that can be trapped like the most stupid robots.

        I believe the Vbulletin team when they say these spammers are using humans to register, not a fault with Recaptcha. I.e., they are half-human 'cyborgs' or rather spamborgs. However...
        • As mentioned earlier, I initially did not ban KaiyureBoy, only gave a minor infraction.
        • Today Kaiyure returned and spammed his own infraction thread!
        • He and a new spamborg weiwei also spammed other people's infraction threads.
        • I.e., after they register, there is no English-speaking human to monitor where they leave their graffitti. They are totally blind multi-posting spamborgs.
        • Earlier, I suggested not banning spammers, but giving them a special membership level named the Red Carpet. (Wryly imitating the special casino parking lots for big suckers--and especially appropriate for ex-communists.) Settings for this member level: a. can not use email or PM. b. Can only post in a "Red Carpet" subforum. Nowhere else. My idea was that to ban these people might only cause them to rejoin under another alias... This might still work with all-human, all-natural organically grown spam...
        • However, I currently feel that the above Red Carpet scheme would not work with KaiyureBoy and his swarm. Currently, it seems that the more quickly I ban them, the fewer of these spamborgs I get. After doing more banning, I received no new spam for weeks. I.e., to allow them to remain may perhaps only attract more.
        • GLANTHANUS has suggested a "New Member" subforum as required vetting for all new members. This is probably good for some forums, but not mine. My main strategy for attracting new members is to interest them in a discussion and enable them immediately to join that discussion.
        • Also, once a spammer is identified, it is just as easy to 'view all posts by...' and instantly delete all their posts in all subforums.
        • I currently do not delete spam, but for reference, 'move' it all to a single spam archive thread. Before deleting or moving these messages, I 'open link in new tab' to give 'infraction.' I then give a custom infraction: 'very obvious spam' which carries 12 points, which in turn is set to cause an immediate and permanent ban. (My forum-wide announement of Etiquette Rules advises that banned members can use the contact form to notify me if I make a mistake.)
        • Thus, I believe that rather than confining everyone to a "New Member" subforum, it might be better simply to open a highly visible subforum named "Spamtrap" or perhaps "Spamborgs Please Post Here".
        • PS: usernames with numbers are disallowed in my forums. Perhaps, for now at least, this has reduced the number of spamborgs, who seem to enjoy usernames with numbers.
        • PPS: thanks again to everyone who has suggested a promising hack. Nice to have that information if needed. However, to minimize upgrade headaches, I personally like to postpone any hacking until absolutely necessary.

        A visible Spamtrap subforum would automatically attract spamborgs who pay little or no attention to where they leave their graffitti. As explained above, once a single spam post has been identified, it is easy to ban these members and delete all their spam, without confining everyone to a "New Member" subforum. In fact this may be easier because 'only' spamborgs will be posting in the Spamtrap.

        However a compromise between the two strategies: enable new members to post immediately after one post in the New Member forum. This will have minimal discouragement for new members, and will more certainly identify 100% of spamborgs immediately. A Spamtram subforum must wait for them to happen to go there. However I prefer not restricting my new members at all, unless absolutely necessary.

        Another wrinkle, or perhaps an advantage: The KaiyureBoy swarm seems attracted to the latest active threads and never starts a new thread. So, it might be necessary yourself to post a facetious new thread message regularly in the Spamtrap subforum.

        The spamborgs may also catch on, and be reset to avoid Spamtrap subforums. If so, the counter-measure is periodically to change the name or number of the Spamtrap subforum. However, the spamborgs might never catch on, because there is no mechanically obvious correlation between their being banned and their posting in the Spamtrap. At most, it might be necessary to name it something less obvious than "Spamtrap"--such as Red Carpet, Daredevil, or Briar Patch--while explaining for legitimate members in the forum description and a sticky: "Please please never post in this subforum!"

        A visible Spamtrap subforum is thus my suggestion for large, well established forums. Currently, I do not have a Spamtrap subforum because my forums have just started. So long as my forums are small, I can see all spam just as easily without a special trap.

        What is most essential is to ban all spamborgs immediately. The faster these spamborgs are banned, the more discouraged they will be. Failure to ban them (as I initially did) is like responding to an email spam: this signals a 'welcome' to their swarm. (Based on my experience so far.)

        In any case, please be assured that KaiyureBoy etc. are getting nowhere. Surfing Google, I was unable readily to find a single forum where KaiyureBoy has not been wiped away. The pathetic fact is that with half the effort of running this swarm, somebody could be legitimately promoting legitimate commission websites. Perhaps this would not make them a lot of money, but it would certainly make them more than the nothing which they are making now.

        Ever wonder why a comic book villain did not start a construction company using his super powers instead of robbing banks and going to prison... Hello that's what's going on here...
        Last edited by Christophe_O; Wed 11 Jun '08, 8:10am. Reason: KaiyureBoy never starts a new thread, usernames with numbers disallowed in my forums, minimum hacks.
        sigpic Krystof
        Starnectar Free Forums

        Comment


        • I must say that the Registration Spambot hack has helped a lot. It has stopped over 100 bots from registering thus far. Most of my staff has now been trained how to trace IP's. If its from China it gets banned. If they want to join they can email us and ask why they were banned and we will explain. For now though, thats how it has to be.

          Comment


          • I feel fairly certain that my spammers are humans. Most of the time they are from India or China. They answer a required question that I have added to registration. And in many of their spam posts they have hamfistedly attempted to make their spam post sound a little bit like the topic of the board (which is a small niche, but a large board).

            We ban them permanently. We move their posts to a private forum. We review their IP addresses and ban the IP too. We shorten the IP for 2 octets and search to find others proactively and ban or delete them in advance.

            We also search the short octet (xxx.xxx.) to see if any non spammer members would be effected by a ban of that set of IPs and if not we ban the entire short set.

            This all works pretty effectively. I have a board with 1.3 million posts and 22,000 members so, it's a spam magnet. But with these methods we have reduced spammers to a minor problem.

            Comment


            • I've made a comprehensive list of email domains (200+) from which spam usually generates. In case you folks would like to see it, let me know and I'll gladly share it.

              Comment


              • In fed up with them

                its hard to get my forum going without these loosers messing it up, How do I ban everyone from a china address and does anyone have a full list of these spam names as I have had the same user names register and spam the forums.



                Anyone with a list please share it with me.


                @kursed can you send me the list.
                If it was easy, I would of done it.

                Comment


                • I've been getting hourly registration attempts from human spammers in China. Googling their usernames reveals spam for MMORPG gold and leveling. FWIW, the ones that get through have 1 January 1980 birthdates, and enter "Array" into custom fields for real name and location.

                  I have some legit Chinese users, so blocking China completely isn't an option yet. I've been redirecting human spammers away from register.php to a placeholder page, which states:

                  A disproportionately large number of those that have posted spam to the (name of the forums) register from IP blocks in China. Unfortunately, most if not all users that have previously registered from this IP block have been forum spammers.

                  We welcome new users from China, but we want to make sure they are not spammers. If you intend to be a constructive and active participant of the (name of the forums), have a genuine interest in (the subject matter of the forums), or employed in (the subject matter of the forums or an allied profession), and are fluent in English, please send email to (email address) with the following information:

                  * Your real name
                  * Your desired Forums username
                  * Your location (city and province)
                  * A sentence or two about why you are interested in joining the (forum name)


                  When I catch a prospective spammer from an IP range that isn't already redirected, I add it to .htaccess. Note: you can't use CIDRs to redirect. Instead, you need to use regular expressions. (Google has a generator for converting IP ranges into regular expressions.)

                  I attached the current section of my .htaccess file for redirecting Chinese spammers from register.php to the placeholder page. Over the coming days, I have no doubt .htaccess will grow a lot.
                  Attached Files
                  Cyburbia Forums - a third place for urban planners
                  http://www.cyburbia.org/forums

                  Comment


                  • The nuclear option

                    Few or no legit users from China? Don't care about future legit users from China? Drop this bomb into your .htaccess file.

                    Code:
                    <Limit GET HEAD POST>
                    order allow,deny
                    deny from 58.14.0.0/15
                    deny from 58.16.0.0/16
                    deny from 58.17.0.0/17
                    deny from 58.17.128.0/17
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                    allow from all
                    </LIMIT>
                    Cyburbia Forums - a third place for urban planners
                    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums

                    Comment


                    • Here is the list of domains, which're blocked on my website. It's helped me curtail spam on my website to a very large extent.
                      Attached Files

                      Comment


                      • I hate spam

                        I use this...


                        http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=132482

                        It works on my 3.7 board and I haven't gotten a single spambot since.

                        Comment


                        • Thank you all for the suggestions especially ENHANCED RECAPTURE...

                          Originally posted by LCPGUY View Post
                          Yeah, that's entirely possible. But then, why would a real person always use the same registration data? Wouldn't they try and be more "stealthy" and "elusive"?
                          I believe these spamborgs are humans who do not speak English, acting like trained monkeys. I.e., one geek in China trains all his friends and relatives.
                          Originally posted by creativepart View Post
                          ...We ban them permanently. We move their posts to a private forum. We review their IP addresses and ban the IP too. We shorten the IP for 2 octets and search to find others proactively and ban or delete them in advance.

                          We also search the short octet (xxx.xxx.) to see if any non spammer members would be effected by a ban of that set of IPs and if not we ban the entire short set.

                          This all works pretty effectively. I have a board with 1.3 million posts and 22,000 members so, it's a spam magnet. But with these methods we have reduced spammers to a minor problem.
                          Originally posted by kursed View Post
                          Here is the list of [email] domains, which're blocked on my website. It's helped me curtail spam on my website to a very large extent.
                          Originally posted by rolloffhill View Post
                          Originally posted by Indie2Industry View Post
                          Enhanced Captcha Image Verification
                          It works on my 3.7 board and I haven't gotten a single spambot since.
                          Thank you all for the ideas.

                          I am doubtful about blocking email domains. Many legitimate forum members just like to use Hotmail or Yahoo. And of course any spammer can go there too. So I doubt if it's practical to sort them out by their email domain. However, a current ban list of complete email addresses (available at http://stopforumspam.com/) might safely make your forum much more bothersome to spam, provided of course you have email verification.

                          I especially like the Enhanced Capcha Image Verification.
                          • So simple, no messing with IP databases, etc.
                          • Will stump illiterate spammers much better than character recognition.
                          • Allows each forum to use different images, thus making it quite unfeasible to create a program for joining all forums.
                          • Much more friendly to the legitimate human visitor than ramping up the obscurity of character recognition.
                          • I.e., basically less complex but more effective than Recaptcha, for the current wave of quasi-human spam.
                          • With some modifications, I believe this method could be a serious improvement on Recapcha. Currently, the multiple-choice challenge is only practical with about 15 images, and to be human-friendly must allow 3 tries. Thus, robots can get through 1/5 the time by guessing. However this could be overcome by using 2 or 3 questions, each with 10 possible images, thus increasing to 100 or 1,000 variations. Thus, I hope this type of image verification may someday be considered as a standard feature for Vbulletin.


                          P.S. I suppose that, without resorting to a hack, while also using the Recapcha or Image Verification, you can add your own multiple-choice Q&A to the "Forum Rules" agreement. I would suggest questions 1 and 2 be: 'Do you agree with the forum rules?' and 'Are you over 13?'. Then question 3 can be chosen randomly from a list, or perhaps it will be enough to change this manually once a month. If necessary, a fourth question can be added. The fact that you do this yourself will make your hurdles unique. It is not feasible to train either a robot or a lackey for one forum.
                          Last edited by Christophe_O; Sun 15 Jun '08, 12:14am. Reason: p.s.
                          sigpic Krystof
                          Starnectar Free Forums

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Christophe_O View Post
                            I believe these spamborgs are humans who do not speak English, acting like trained monkeys. I.e., one geek in China trains all his friends and relatives.



                            Thank you all for the ideas.

                            I am doubtful about blocking email domains. After all many legitimate forum members just like to use Hotmail or Yahoo. And of course any spammer can go there too. So I doubt if it's practical to sort them out by their email domain.

                            I especially like the Enhanced Captcha Image Verification.
                            • So simple, no messing with IP databases, etc.
                            • Will stump illiterate spammers much better than character recognition.
                            • Allows each forum to use different images, thus making it unfeasible to create a robot that can immediately enter all forums.
                            • Much more friendly to the legitimate human visitor than ramping up the obscurity of character recognition.
                            • I.e., basically less complex but more effective than Recaptcha, for the current wave of quasi-human spam.
                            • With some modifications, I believe this method could be a serious improvement on Recaptcha. Currently, the multiple-choice challenge is only practical with about 15 images, and to be human-friendly must allow 3 tries. Thus, robots can get through 1/5 the time by guessing. However this could be overcome by using 2 or 3 questions, each with 10 possible images, thus increasing to 100 or 1,000 variations. Thus, I hope this type of image verification may someday be considered as a standard feature for Vbulletin.
                            I believe it to be the most valuable mod I have. Mine has 10 images instead of 4, just to make it that more difficult for the bot.

                            http://indie2industry.com/forum/register.php

                            Comment


                            • I just went through all 12 pages here and was surprised I hadn't seen this site mentioned.

                              http://www.stopforumspam.com/

                              It is a pretty extensive database of common spammers, including IP's, emails and usernames. I stumbled upon it the other day when we got a bunch of new registrations and they all entered "1" in the required fields at registration. I had missed a few so when I searched the memberlist for "1" in one of the required fields and it pulled up about 5 that I missed.

                              Comment


                              • Please help: can a Q&A be made to trigger the forum rules 'rejection' page without a hack? (STANDARD_ERROR template.)
                                1. I believe my own custom multi-choice Q&A, even if not encrypted, may stump the few robots that get through image verification, simply by being different.
                                2. I believe non-robot spammers will be superstitious. Even if they don't know English, word will spread among them what the following means, making recruitment difficult.
                                3. The following experiment is not multi-choice and does not do anything. My HTML 'forms' skills are nil.
                                4. Can someone please tell me how to activate my extra input to trigger the 'rejection' page?
                                  ... Preferably using an existing 'action', thus not needing a hack.
                                  ... Preferably causing 1 (not 0) to trigger the rejection, thus tripping robots a bit better.
                                  ... Or multiple input 'values' so I can do multiple choice if necessary.
                                5. My small new forum receives 1 spamborg weekly like clockwork. Let's see if this does anything!


                                Style manager ... edit templates ... registration templates ... register rules ... deleted this:
                                <div><label for="cb_rules_agree"><input type="checkbox" name="agree" id="cb_rules_agree" value="1" /><strong><phrase 1="$vboptions[bbtitle]">$vbphrase[read_agree_abide_by_rules]</phrase></strong></label></div>

                                ... Replaced as follows ...

                                <div><label for="cb_rules_agree">
                                <b>Agreement verification.</b> Please check one:<br />
                                <input type="radio" name="agree" value="1" id="cb_rules_agree" />
                                I am over 13, I have read, and I agree to abide by, the above Forum Rules.<br />
                                <input type="radio" name="agree" value="0" id="cb_rules_agree" checked="checked" />
                                I have not read or do not agree to the rules.</label><br />

                                <label for="cb_rules_agree">
                                <b>Honesty verification.</b> Please check one:<br />
                                <input type="radio" name="disgrace" value="0" />
                                I agree to disgrace if I place advertising messages in non-advertising forums.<br />
                                <input type="radio" name="disgrace" value="1" checked="checked" />
                                I am not honest. I will disgrace my family.</label></div>
                                Last edited by Christophe_O; Sun 15 Jun '08, 11:21am.
                                sigpic Krystof
                                Starnectar Free Forums

                                Comment

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